Everything I Like Causes Cancer

Where we've been convinced to write a new post on Dec. 2. Stay tuned!


Older and Wiser

Posted by Gwen |

Exactly thirty-nine years ago today I was born. For those of you who love precision, the big event occurred at 2:19 p.m. I’m not bothered by my age, I feel 25 and I’m the happiest me I’ve ever been. I don’t claim to have all the answers, it’s the wise man who knows that he knows nothing, but I have a much better sense of who I am, what I want, and what I’m worth than I ever have. I am centered and focused and happy.

Part of being older and wiser is that you are constantly learning and realizing new things. Just last night, in fact, I learned that I need to take better care of my basement hole. Yes, my basement hole. You know, the hole outside the door of a walk-out basement? One of these:

Understand I have a monster oak tree in each of the yards that border mine. These two trees produce a gargantuan amount of leaves. As it turns out, I didn’t clean the leaves out of the basement hole last fall. I meant to do it. I thought about it many times. But I am inherently lazy and never did it. Subsequently, about ten inches of leaves had accumulated in the hole.

Add to that an incredibly wet spring and you've got a huge, gross mess that clogs the drain and causes water to run under the door and into the basement. I noticed it Saturday and figured it was from the mondo storm we had Friday night and that it would soon dry up. Unfortunately, the floor was still wet when I got home from my parents’ Sunday night and it was too late to clean it out. I had to do it last night after work.

It was super gross and hot and there were spiders and swarms of mosquitoes. The bottom-most part of the pile was wet, and actually composting.

There was about an inch of fertile, yet useless, compost under there. "Useless" because there’s also about an inch of paint chips from when I prepped the deck for painting last fall and I am certain the chips are lead paint. And as my mother once said to a six year old girl to whom she had just gifted a lead glass piece, “Lead will make you stupid.”

So today, my friends, I actually am both older and wiser. Unless the lead paint chips got to me.

Now, if you can't fight the urge to make fun of my advancing age, feel free use some of these, or make up your own.

About Me, 31-40: The 39th Birthday Edition

31. The floor lamp in my bedroom is on a clapper.
32. I like to take baths with lavender epsom salts.
33. My favorite flower is the peony.
34. I always wear my seatbelt.
35. I am a chronic listmaker.
36. I have 14 rosebushes in my garden.
37. I keep sunblock and a sweater in my convertible, just in case.
38. There are three different hand lotions in my purse and one hand sanitizer.
39. This is how many years I am old!!!
40. For about two years now I've been telling people I am 40 because I just want it over and done.


McGone said...

I often forget how old I am and just round up. It's kind of twisted and depressing. Glad to see you have no problem embracing your age. Happy birthday!

You cleaned composting leaves yesterday - are you going to be doing something really fun like removing asbestos for the big day?

Whiskeymarie said...


I use lavender bath wash and lotion, and I appreciate a nice cup of tea.

The Geritol and Depends can't be far off. (I have a friend my age-37-that had already started telling people she's forty. She says it's just "easier")

amy & jeff said...

Happy Berfday darlin'! We love you.

Kimchi HQ

Avitable said...

Happy Birthday! You don't look a day over 39!

the queen said...

I bed to differ. Oak Leaves, particularly Pin Oak Leaves, never decompose.

And, I say Happy Berfday as well.

Gwen said...

McGone: I taped an episode of Dirty Jobs where I had to clean sewer lines.

WM: Tea! That's a good one.

Amy & Jeff: Backatcha. Can't wait to see you Saturday.

Avit: I don't feel a day over 39 either. Curious.

The Queen: Oak leaves are waxy and take longer than non-waxy leaves but everything carbon-based decomposes. The hole is a wet and warm space, which sped the process. Plus? Much of it has been down there since last summer.

pistols at dawn said...

Epsom salts? Don't those automatically make you 90?

WendyB said...

LOL, I love #39. And I used to do #40 too, but now that I'm 40, I wish I didn't rush it!

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

I'm glad you had a good birthday, aside from having to scoop leaf goo from your basement steps.

I did the same thing as you and started telling people I was 40 when I was 38 - just so I could get used to the sound of it. Now that I am 40 and approaching 41 I have been thinking about not telling people my age anymore at all - not sure why.